THE process of recycling is being made harder because of red tape according to a Wombwell scrap metal firm, who were ordered to pay almost £3,500 in fines and costs.

Gillot Alloys Ltd, of Station Road Industrial Estate, Valley Road, was fined £1,250 at Barnsley Magistrates' Court and told to pay £2,176.07 in costs for operating without a permit.

Malcolm Quinn, a director of the firm, pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared on June 6.

The court heard the firm had no permit to receive or process waste electronic and electrical equipment but, on November 3, 2011, scrap fridges, freezers, cathode ray tube televisions and washing machines were found during a site visit by an Environment Agency inspector.

Since the inspection, which led to the case being brought against the company, it now had the correct permit in place for processing such material.

"We thought we were operating as we were allowed to," said Mr Quinn. "More than 50 tons of scrap comes in every day and if 200 kilos of that is a washer at the bottom of the skip we can't deal with that until we tip it all out."

Mr Quinn added the firm had applied to Barnsley Council to become a waste transfer station - meaning it would be more involved in recycling - and wanted to take on more staff.

"We applied in October 2012 and there is no decision yet," he added. "It seems the authorities are making it harder for us to do the job."